- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Boy Scout official has warned a troop that its participation in immigration demonstrations last week violated the organization’s policy against involvement in political events.

Members of Troop 987 — made up of 15 Hispanic boys ages 12 to 15 — were attempting to earn merit badges for “Citizenship in the Community,” said Michael Clara, a scoutmaster.

Mr. Clara said he received a phone call from Vic Rowberry, a Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts of America field director, who said the troop should not have been involved.

“It’s disappointing that the council would second-guess our judgment,” said Mr. Clara, a Utah Republican Hispanic Assembly member who started the troop three years ago.

Kay Godfrey, spokeswoman for the Great Salt Lake Council, said uniformed members cannot participate in political events or activities that might be “construed as rendering an endorsement for a particular candidate or position.”

Miss Godfrey said members can serve as a color guard or in a flag ceremony as long as the troop does not participate further in the event. “I’m sure he had good intentions, but we need to watch it,” Miss Godfrey said of Mr. Clara.

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